Stephen Port: Victim's partner says he was 'dismissed' by police because they were unmarried gay couple

·3-min read

The partner of one of Stephen Port's victims has said he was "dismissed" by police investigating his boyfriend's death because the pair were an unmarried gay couple.

Ricky Waumsley was speaking at Barking Town Hall on Monday, at the inquest into the death of his boyfriend Daniel Whitworth.

Mr Whitworth was found dead in Barking, east London, on 20 September, 2014, after being given a fatal overdose of the drug GHB by serial killer Port.

Mr Waumsley said he had visited the site where his partner's body was found 10 days later, accompanied by Mr Whitworth's father Adam and stepmother Amanda, who were unmarried at the time.

But Mr Waumsley was left out when police took Adam and Amanda aside to discuss the investigation privately, which he said "really p*****d me off and made me feel pushed out by the police".

A "suicide note" had been found on Mr Whitworth's body which made it appear as if he had taken his own life after accidentally killing another man - Gabriel Kovari.

But the note turned out to have been written by Port and Mr Kovari had been another of his victims.

Mr Waumsley said he had not been allowed to see the note until a year after his partner's death.

He told jurors: "If it was a straight couple I wouldn't have been pushed out as much as I was at the time.

"They dismissed me in every single way.

"I believe and I stand by it - it was because we were a gay unmarried couple."

Mr Waumsley said that police should have examined the note more carefully, rather than just asking Mr Whitworth's parents.

He told the jury: "I just felt that they took the suicide note at face value. I believe they didn't do any more than that. That was my thought on it.

"I thought they could have done more.

"They could have at least checked the handwriting and made sure that it was correct, and not just asked people at the time who were grieving and who are not in that profession looking at handwriting."

Mr Waumsley described the note as "really impersonal", adding that it did not mention family members, and he could not be sure the handwriting was that of his partner's.

The jury was also shown notes made by acting Detective Sergeant Stuart Denley after a special post-mortem examination carried out on Mr Whitworth's body on 23 September 2014.

Mr Denley had noted bruising on Mr Whitworth's underarms that the pathologist said could be consistent with him having been carried or moved before or after death.

But the officer had instead said the marks could have occurred during rough sex, wrongly claiming that Mr Whitworth "clearly led a double life that his partner knew nothing of".

Port, 46, was found guilty in 2016 of murdering Mr Whitworth, 21, Mr Kovari, 22, Anthony Walgate, 23, and Jack Taylor, 25, between June 2014 and September 2015 and sentenced to a whole-life term.

Police initially failed to connect the deaths, with the Met forced to apologise to the victims' families, and several officers investigated for gross misconduct over alleged failings in trying to catch Port before he killed again.

The inquest is looking into the four men's deaths to determine whether their lives could have been saved if police had acted differently.

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